HELENA — Ten Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees.
Montana is joined by Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming in the lawsuit.
The suit specifically takes aim at Executive Order 14042 which requires federal contractors to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.
The plaintiff states argue the executive order is unconstitutional and “an unlawful usurpation of states’ police powers.” They seek to prevent the Biden administration from enforcing it.
“President Biden’s dictate attempting to force injections on employees at federally contracted businesses via executive order is illegal and a gross overreach into the lives of Montanans. Workers in our state don’t lose their rights just because their company happens to do some work for the federal government,” Attorney General Knudsen said.
The lawsuit notes that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, “workers employed by federal contractors” comprise roughly one-fifth of the entire U.S. labor force.
The lawsuit follows a letter sent by Republican attorneys general from 21 states to President Joe Biden expressing their concerns with his administration’s decision to require federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.